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Around the Minors

Posted by Ben Seal, Fri, July 31, 2009 01:32 PM Comments: 14

Here’s a look at the action around the Phillies minor league system from last night. Check in starting Monday for Phillies Nation’s own rankings of the Phils’ farmhands.

Lehigh Valley – In an interesting turn of events, two guys playing for the Iron Pigs just a few nights ago were in the visitor’s dugout yesterday. Jason Donald and Lou Marson each played their first game for the Columbus Clippers, the Indians’ triple-A squad. Donald and Marson each singled in 3 at-bats to help Columbus win, 5-4 in 10 innings. Drew Carpenter pitched very well, allowing one run in 5 innings and striking out 4, but did not stick around long enough for a decision. First baseman Andy Tracy hit a two-run homer and Michael Taylor went 2-for-5 with a double, bumping his average to .255 with the Iron Pigs.

Reading – The R-Phils blanked the Portland Sea Dogs, 2-0, behind a stellar effort from Vance Worley, who pitched six innings of shutout ball. Worley allowed just 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3 to pick up the win and move his record to 7-8. Scott Mathieson pitched two innings of perfect relief in his first appearance at double-A this season. He retired all 6 in order, finishing off his last batter with a strikeout. Recently demoted Sergio Escalona pitched a spotless 9th, striking out a pair to earn the save. Jeremy Slayden was 2-for-4 with a solo homer to provide all the offensive Reading needed, and Quintin Berry stole his 38th base of the season.

Clearwater – Righthander Darren Byrd put up his third straight start without allowing a run, this time going 8 innings of scoreless ball. He allowed 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6 to earn his third win in a row and move his record to 4-3. Byrd has not allowed a run in his last 19 innings. Shortstop Freddy Galvis knocked a two-run single to back Byrd in the Threshers 2-0 win.

Williamsport – In the first game of a doubleheader against Batavia, Matthew Way struck out 11 in 6 innings, though he took the loss. Way allowed 2 runs (one earned) on 5 hits. His ERA sits at 1.67 through 8 starts (37.2 innings) with the Crosscutters.

Williamsport won the second game, 4-0, behind 6 shutout innings from Josh Zeid, including 9 strikeouts. First baseman Francisco Murillo’s three-run blast provided plenty of offense.

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A Look at What the Phillies Gave Up

Posted by Ben Seal, Thu, July 30, 2009 11:46 AM Comments: 97

The rumors began flying weeks ago. If the Phillies were going to pick up a frontline starter at the trade deadline it would ravage the farm system, picking off all the top prospects in one fell swoop and leaving the club’s future uncertain. While it did take a quartet of minor leaguers to bring Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco into the fold yesterday, it wasn’t exactly the four players that had the Delaware Valley split on whether a trade was necessary. Top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek will still be wearing red pinstripes in the near future. Top position prospect Dominic Brown can still look forward to a career in the Phillies outfield, as can the man with the monster stats, Michael Taylor. And J.A. Happ, the potential NL Rookie of the Year, still has a comfortable spot in the rotation – at least for now.

So what did the Phillies give up to acquire the reigning AL Cy Young winner? According to Baseball America, they sent their 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 10th-ranked prospects to the Midwest. The package they gave up is considerable, primarily because three of those players – Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson and Jason Donald – were playing at triple-A Lehigh Valley, just a call-up away from joining the big club. But the actual impact on the Phils minor league system is not as big as it might seem. Here’s a look at what Philly is losing with each of these prospects.

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – At age 22, it is still far too early to say whether Carrasco is a disappointment, but it is fair to say that his progression through the ranks was not smooth. He boasted the best fastball and changeup in the system, two pitches that made Cole Hamels a World Series MVP. There was plenty to like about the stuff Carrasco brought onto the mound for each of his starts. But with that fantastic arm came a lack of composure, the one characteristic that almost always defines quality major league pitchers. He was infamous in the minors for letting one bad pitch snowball into a disastrous inning, allowing his great ability to get lost in the fray. Though he made three trips to the Futures Game before this year, Carrasco’s performance with the Iron Pigs was inconsistent. He left Lehigh Valley with a 6-9 record and a 5.18 ERA.

There is plenty of reason to believe that Carrasco will settle down, mature as a pitcher and harness his skills. If he can, he could very well be a solid No. 3 or No. 4 starter with a slightly higher ceiling. But after 5 years of ups and downs in the Phillies organization, he became expendable when a consistent ace came calling.

Lou Marson, C – There will always be high demand around baseball for a catcher that can hit the ball, and Marson was just that. Last season he hit .314 in a full season at double-A Reading and in his first taste of triple-A this year he was hitting .294 in 63 games. Marson even showed glimmers of his offensive prowess in brief call-ups to Philadelphia, hitting .286 in 21 AB. Defensively he was more than capable, earning praise from scouts and coaches alike for his ability behind the plate. It was very likely that he would be competing with Carlos Ruiz to be the starting catcher for the Phillies on Opening Day 2010. But while Marson was a prized prospect, rated No. 3 by Baseball America, projecting his talent to the major league level was not easy. In 1609 career AB in the minors he hit just 26 home runs and slugged just .388. He also did not have much doubles power, which often translates into home run power once a player reaches his physical peak.

It looked like Marson would be a light-hitting major league catcher with a decent average and little to no pop. He could have competed with Ruiz, but not necessarily stolen the job away from the Phils’ current catcher. The Phillies need not worry about losing their top catching prospect, as Travis d’Arnaud is rising through the system. At age 20 in single-A Lakewood he has already slugged 12 homers and 56 RBI with a .419 slugging percentage. Many scouts had him rated as the best catcher in the system even with Marson still involved. By the time d’Arnaud is ready, the Phillies might be glad they don’t have Marson blocking his path to the bigs.

Jason Donald, SS – For many reasons, Donald was the easiest of these four prospects to let slip away. There was no need for his services at shortstop in the immediate future, with mainstay Jimmy Rollins still dazzling with his glove even when his bat goes silent. Donald was a bit old for a prospect at 24, meaning he has likely gone through almost all of his development already. He is a smooth fielder at short, but had no experience shifting over to third base where the Phillies could have used him. This season has been a difficult one for Donald, after missing time due to injury and struggling with just a .236 average. Scouts have raved about his overall game, saying that he profiles as a starter for several years in the majors with good offensive potential.

That potential would never be reached in Philadelphia, where applicants for middle infield positions need not apply. He could very well be up with the Indians in the near future, but fans won’t miss his services. Much like 2B Adrian Cardenas, who was shipped to the Athletics last season for Joe Blanton, two All-Star roadblocks in the Phillies’ infield made Donald expendable.

Jason Knapp, RHP – A fireballer at age 18, Knapp is the type of high-ceiling prospect that the Indians were clamoring for, hoping to hit it big years down the road. They’ll have a good chance, but projecting any pitcher’s effectiveness in three or four years is a difficult process, especially such a young pitcher. A quick breeze through Knapp’s stats with Lakewood this season make it clear why Cleveland fancied him as the best pitching prospect the Phillies could offer, even above Kyle Drabek, according to some reports. In 85.1 innings he struck out 111 batters and allowed just 63 hits. For an inexperienced pitcher with such a power arm, his 39 walks were not high at all. Somehow he left Lakewood with an ERA of 4.01 and a 2-7 record despite such impressive peripheral numbers. He checked in at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds with some more growing to do, so the dominant arm is very real.

Knapp could turn out to be a frontline starter, as his 11.5 K/9 is already elite. Or he could be sidetracked by injury along the way, as he is right now and as Kyle Drabek was in 2007. Either way, he is far from his pro debut and likely won’t be ready until the Phillies current nucleus has already dissipated.

Final Thoughts – The four players going to Cleveland all have the potential to become solid major leaguers. There is always a hefty price tag on Cy Young winners. By holding onto J.A. Happ and Kyle Drabek, the Phillies managed to keep the homegrown talent for their rotation intact. And with Taylor and Brown – and Anthony Gose – still in the system, the future of the Phils’ outfield looks very bright. They lost plenty of talent in this deal, but they could afford to. The farm system takes a hit, but not one from which it can’t bounce back quickly.

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Breaking News from Lehigh Valley

Posted by Ben Seal, Wed, July 29, 2009 11:13 AM Comments: 51

Scheduled starter Carlos Carrasco, shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson have all been scratched from the lineup for this morning’s game between the Iron Pigs and Columbus. This almost certainly means that a trade is very much in the works. Stay tuned for more details as they come in.

UPDATE (1:24 PM): Yahoo! Sports reports that the Phillies appear to be “on the verge” of acquiring Cliff Lee from the Indians for Carrasco, Jason Knapp and at least two of Donald, Marson and Michael Taylor.

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Around the Minors

Posted by Ben Seal, Mon, July 27, 2009 11:50 AM Comments: 92

Here’s a look at some of the top performers around the Phillies minor league system this weekend. Stay on the lookout for Phillies Nation’s prospect rankings, which will be unveiled beginning next week once the trade deadline has passed. The rankings will include a detailed bio of each key player on the farm, as well as an analysis of what they could bring to the big club in the future. But for now, let’s check in on what happened this weekend.michael-taylor

Lehigh Valley – The adjustment process after moving up a level was difficult for Michael Taylor at the start, but he seems to be figuring things out. Taylor had a breakout game Thursday against Charlotte, going 3-for-4 with a walk and smacking a two-run homer in the process. He followed that up with 1-for-3 effort with a walk, stolen base and two runs the next night. Taylor’s average is still just .263 with the Iron Pigs, but that comes with an impressive 7:8 walk-to-strikeout ratio and a .370 OBP. He has stolen two bases and not been caught, and now has two homers and 5 RBI in 11 games played there. The improvement should come quickly at Lehigh Valley, assuming that by this time next week he is still on the club.

Reading – There were two great starts made with the R-Phils this weekend. The first came from Mike Stutes, who is easily the hottest pitcher in the system right now. He pitched 7.1 innings against Bowie on Friday, allowing just one run and striking out 8. He gave up 6 hits and 2 walks in the process. It was the fourth straight game allowing one or no runs for Stutes, who hasn’t allowed more than 3 earned runs in his last 10 starts, posting a 2.81 ERA during that stretch.

The second impressive outing was a bit of a surprise, as Yohan Flande put together his first effective start at double-A yesterday. He pitched 6.1 shutout innings yesterday, striking out 7 while giving up just 4 hits and a walk. It was the first time he has managed to pitch six strong innings, and it came just a day after the same Bowie team pounded out 12 runs against Reading.

Clearwater – It seems that there is still hope for the future of Scott Mathieson, who continues to pitch shutout innings for the Threshers. Friday he allowed a hit and a walk, but struck out the side in his one inning of work against Charlotte. He has now pitched 11 shutout innings this year over two levels, striking out 15 batters in the process with a WHIP of 1.00. The Phillies will advance him slowly, as his injury history is a major concern, but there is reason to believe he could climb the ranks and replace Chris Coste as the Phils feel-good story at some point.

Lakewood – Though he went hitless over the past two games, it’s worth noting what Travis d’Arnaud had been doing for the previous two weeks. Saturday’s 0-for-4 ended d’Arnaud’s hitting streak at 15 games, a great stretch for a catcher who had been hitting for a low average this season. With a few games remaining in July, he is hitting .309 for the month, easily his best mark of the season. That comes with an OBP of .877 and a good walk-to-strikeout ratio of 10:14. His average for the year is just .241, but he now has 10 homers and 53 RBI.

Trevor May was dominant yesterday, allowing just one hit over 5 shutout innings while striking out 9 batters. He has only been going 5 or 6 innings in each of his starts, but is consistently striking out batters, now with 50 Ks in 40.2 innings this season. His 2.88 ERA is excellent for a 19-year-old, and he may get a taste of a higher level toward the end of the year. Pitching at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, he has the power deliver to keep batters swinging and missing.

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Around the Minors

Posted by Ben Seal, Thu, July 23, 2009 02:30 PM Comments: 12

Here’s a look at last night’s action around the Phillies minor league system, highlighted by a top prospect continuing his dominance:

Reading – After a tough outing his last time on the mound, Kyle Drabek bounced back with his best start in over a month, moving his record to 6-1 with a win against Altoona. The 6-foot, 185-pound righty tossed 8 innings of 2-run ball, allowing 6 hits and a walk while striking out 7 batters. When he wasn’t striking out the Curve, he was keeping the ball on the ground, producing 12 groundouts against just 5 air outs. It’s looking more and more like it would be in the Phillies best interest to keep Drabek off limits in all trade discussions over the next week.

Williamsport – At just 18 years old, Sebastian Valle is making some noise with the Crosscutters. A week ago the lefty catcher slugged two homers and knocked in 5 runs, and he has kept up the hot streak since then. Over the past 8 games he is batting .424 (14-for-33) with 6 doubles after a 3-for-4 effort last night. The 6-foot-1 Mexican native has hit .388 in 22 games with Williamsport, with an unbelievable 1.171 OPS. Valle turns 19 tomorrow, but he’s already having a monster season on the farm.

Lehigh Valley – A postponement of his start earlier this week raised questions about Kyle Kendrick’s future with the Phillies. With the Phils desperately in need of a bench bat, it was only fair to assume he might be on the trading block. Kendrick would seemingly be a good fit for a team looking to unload a utility player for an extra rotation arm. Well, last night Kendrick’s string of impressive outings came to an end, as he allowed 5 runs in 7.1 innings against Charlotte to take the loss. Even in the losing effort, though, Kendrick continued to show he is capable of lasting deep into ballgames, a sign that he is ready to play in the majors again. Over his last 6 starts he has pitched 44.2 innings, an average of 7.1 per start.

Michael Taylor ripped a double and scored a run in 4 at-bats. His average at triple-A sits at .208 after his first week with the Iron Pigs. Lou Marson was also 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI, keeping his average at .303.

Clearwater – The Threshers dropped a 4-2 game with Charlotte, as Mike Cisco had his second poor outing in a row after a month-long stretch with an ERA of 1.38. Last night Cisco gave up 4 runs on 8 hits over 6 innings. Dominic Brown was 0-for-4 in the loss, while Steve Susdorf was 1-for-4 with a double. Susdorf’s average through 25 games with Clearwater is a spectacular .408.

Reliever Scott Mathieson pitched another scoreless inning out of the ‘pen, allowing a hit and striking out two. His ERA in 10 innings between the GCL and Clearwater this season is still spotless, and he has struck out 12 batters.

Lakewood – Catcher Travis d’Arnaud led the charge as the Blue Claws beat Asheville, 6-2. He was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and two walks, bumping his average up to .245. Justin De Fratus bounced back after allowing 9 runs in his last start to go 7.2 innings and give up just one run. He gave up 5 hits and struck out 7 while walking none, bringing his ERA down to 3.67.

GCL Phillies – Still on a rehab assignment before he rejoins Lehigh Valley, Jason Donald went 2-for-2 with a double, RBI and a run. He was playing at DH, though, so he should still need a few games to get back in shape before moving back up.

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Around the Minors

Posted by Ben Seal, Mon, July 20, 2009 01:54 PM Comments: 3

It’s an exciting time in the Phillies minor league system, with the Roy Halladay sweepstakes bringing some of the top farmhands into the public eye over the past two weeks. The added attention makes each pitch, each swing that much more difficult for prospects from Lehigh Valley to Williamsport who are trying to impress scouts. So today let’s check in on the progress of some of the players who could be on the block as July comes to a close.

Michael Taylor – Four games into his tenure at triple-A with the Iron Pigs, Taylor has already had some ups and downs. He went hitless in his first two starts, including the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday in which he struck out three times. But the jump to Lehigh Valley is a maturation process, and in the nightcap of that twin bill Taylor adjusted and strutted his stuff. He went 2-for-3 with a single, a two-run homer, a walk and a stolen base. The coming weeks will go a long way toward determining Taylor’s future – both where he might play and how quickly he will arrive in the majors.

Kyle Drabek – Though he has only spent half a season above single-A, Drabek is the name everyone is talking about. He took his first loss with the R-Phils Friday, allowing 6 runs (5 earned) in 6 innings. He walked one and struck out one. Even after getting hit hard, Drabek’s ERA with Reading is 3.25 this season, and his combined average sits at 2.83 between Clearwater and Reading.

Joe Savery – Drabek’s double-A teammate is going through some growing pains on the farm right now. He has allowed 15 runs in his last three starts spanning 18.2 innings, giving up 26 hits and walking 10 batters during that stretch. He took just his second loss of the season against New Britain on Saturday, and his ERA is now up to 3.83.

Dominic Brown – After a month on the disabled list with a broken finger the Phillies 5-tool outfield prospect went on a short rehab assignment with the GCL Phils before rejoining the Threshers in Clearwater. The time off clearly didn’t hurt his swing, as he has hit in each of his three games since getting back to high-A ball. He was 5-for-12 this weekend with three RBI, raising his average to .307. Brown should be on track for a call-up to Reading shortly, and if Taylor is traded away Brown will become the outfield prospect all Phillies fans follow.

Lou Marson – The top catching prospect in the organization (or at least the closest to the majors) has been on a tear of late in Lehigh Valley. Marson has hit in 9 of his last 10 games, batting .469 (15-for-32) over that period with more walks (5) than strikeouts (4). Marson, though, has hit pounded out just two extra-base hits, both doubles, during that stretch. His inability to hit for power and knock in runs is a concern, but even a .300-hitting catcher with no power would be a drastic improvement over the offensive production the Phillies are getting right now from their catchers.

Drew Carpenter – The last two months have been stellar for Carpenter, who had his chance in the majors with a spot start earlier this season. In his last ten starts he is 7-2 with an ERA of 2.00. The last two have been particularly good, as he has lasted 7 innings in each start, allowing one run combined and striking out 17 while walking just three. He is one of the most major-league ready pitchers in the farm system, and though he may not have as high a ceiling as Drabek or teammate Carlos Carrasco, he could be an important trade chip to a team looking to plug a pitcher into their rotation immediately.

Carlos Carrasco – It seems that Carrasco has been knocking on the door of a call-up to the big leagues all season, and at some point the Phillies will have to answer. He pitched 6 innings Saturday, striking out 8 batters while allowing three runs and walking none. He may no longer be someone the Phillies can eye as a top-of-the-rotation starter, but Carrasco is ready to contribute at the highest level. With a bit of focus on his control he could likely step in and give the Phillies 6 innings and 3 runs most nights. A chance to shine under the lights of Citizens Bank Park might allow Carrasco to flourish and become the pitcher this organization expected him to be for the past several years.

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Around the Minors

Posted by Ben Seal, Wed, July 15, 2009 11:36 AM Comments: 1

Here’s a look at last night’s action around the Phillies minor league system:

GCL Phillies – Just in time for two weeks of intense trade talks leading up to the July 31 deadline, Dominic Brown is back in action. Brown began his rehab assignment with the GCL Phils last night, returning from more than a month on the disabled list with a broken finger. Eager to make up for lost time, Brown legged out a pair of triples and scored a run, going 3-for-3 to spark a 2-1 win over the GCL Tigers. It shouldn’t be long before the 21-year-old outfielder is back with Clearwater, and if he continues to pound the ball like he did before his injury, Michael Taylor might have a new outfield mate in Reading.

Lakewood – The Blue Claws lost to Bowling Green, 7-4, last night, but had some strong performances. Center fielder Anthony Gose went 3-for-5 with a triple and an RBI. Playing at DH, Travis d’Arnaud had a two-run double and scored a run. First baseman Jim Murphy was 3-for-3 with three doubles and a run knocked in.

Williamsport – Shortstop Jeremy Barnes picked up a pair of hits to extend his hitting streak to 9 games as the Crosscutters won, 10-4, against Brooklyn. Barnes is now hitting .351 this season with a .945 OPS. The offensive star of the night was Sebastian Valle, who slugged a pair of home runs and knocked in 5 runs. 3B Anthony Hewitt took the collar, going 0-for-5, though he did register an RBI. His average now sits at .235.

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Around the Minors

Posted by Ben Seal, Mon, July 13, 2009 12:17 PM Comments: 0

Here’s a look at last night’s action around the Phillies minor league system:

Williamsport – It may only be a week-long hot streak, but Anthony Hewitt is flashing signs that the Phillies made the right choice in last year’s first round. Hewitt smacked a pair of home runs and knocked in 3 runs in the first game of a doubleheader yesterday, then collected a single and walk in the nightcap. He is now hitting .480 (12-for-25) in his last 7 games with 2 triples, 3 homers, 8 RBI and 3 stolen bases. Strikeouts have been an Achilles heel for Hewitt in his short professional career, but he has limited the damage to 6 whiffs during that span. Considering he struck out 55 times in 117 AB last season, any bit of improvement is noticeable.

The transition to third base has been a difficult one for Hewitt, who played shortstop in high school. He has a long way to go before his footwork and arm strength make him a viable option at the hot corner. But the last week – undoubtedly the best in his time with the Crosscutters – gives reason to believe that he is on his way toward putting things together at the plate. After hitting .197 in short-season ball last year, his average is now at .250 and rising. He is the extreme example of the Phillies commitment to drafting “toolsy” players with high ceilings. For Hewitt to reach his potential will take a great amount of work, but if he can the Phillies have themselves a top-notch prospect.

Lehigh Valley – After a wild start Tuesday in which he walked 6 batters en route to allowing 6 runs in 4 innings, Carlos Carrasco got back on track last night. He didn’t pick up a win, as the Iron Pigs lost 5-3 against Rochester, but he went 6.2 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk while striking out 6. His ERA now sits at an even 5.00. It is likely that he will end the season pitching with the big club, likely filling in as a spot starter or coming up for a September cup of coffee. Carrasco finished last season in triple-A with a string of success, and despite some poor numbers has been pitching well this year. A full year of work in Lehigh Valley would make him a very strong candidate to join the Phillies rotation next season.

Catcher Lou Marson was 0-for-2 in the loss with a pair of walks and a strikeout, dropping his average to .298.

Reading – The R-Phils lost to Harrisburg, 10-3, as Vance Worley coughed up 9 runs in his 5.1 innings of work. Over his last two starts the 21-year-old has allowed 24 baserunners in just 10.2 innings. Worley pitched just 69 innings last year with Williamsport and Lakewood, so the 106 he has already thrown with Reading this year could be getting to him. It will be interesting to see if a bit of rest during the All-Star break gives Worley the boost he needs in the second half.

Center fielder Quinton Berry went 2-for-5 with a double and two runs against the Senators. Michael Taylor was 0-for-1 with three walks in the losing effort.

Clearwater – The Phillies Aussie import, Drew Naylor, had another tough outing against Dayton last night, giving up 5 runs (4 earned) in just two innings before being relieved. Naylor walked five and didn’t strike out a batter in the start, as his ERA rose to 4.61 and record dropped to 5-8. Left fielder Stephen Susdorf provided just about all the offense for the Threshers, going 3-for-4 with a double and a homer. He is now hitting .403 in 17 games with Clearwater after hitting .333 in 21 games with Lakewood earlier in the season.

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Around the Minors

Posted by Ben Seal, Sun, July 12, 2009 12:05 PM Comments: 0

Here’s a look at last night’s action around the Phillies minor league system:

mathiesonGCL PhilliesScott Mathieson’s long trip back to the majors is on track once again. After two Tommy John surgeries over the past three years, Mathieson is rehabbing in the rookie league as he attempts to climb the ranks. Last night he pitched a perfect inning, striking out two. He holds a spotless ERA in six innings over the past couple of weeks and has struck out 8 batters. It’s easy to forget that Mathieson, once rated as the No. 2 pitching prospect in the organization, is just 25. If his most recent surgery proves to be successful and Mathieson can resume his previous dominance of the lower levels, he could be mentioned among the top players in the farm system. He still carries a career K/9 ratio of 8.6 across all levels and could be an enticing bullpen option down the road.

Clearwater – He might not be on the level with Kyle Drabek or Joe Savery, but Mike Cisco is beginning to make some noise with the Threshers. Last night the righty picked up his third straight win, running his record to 6-1, as Clearwater won, 5-3. Cisco, who was drafted last year out of the University of South Carolina, gave up 2 runs (one earned) in 6 innings, allowing 6 hits and striking out two. He has now allowed one earned run or less in 7 of his last 8 starts, posting a 1.4 ERA during that stretch in 45 innings and striking out 30 against 8 walks. Michael Durant went 2-for-3 with a double, homer and two RBI to help Cisco pick up the win.

Lehigh Valley – Recently acquired starter Brian Mazone made his third appearance for the Iron Pigs, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits in four innings of work. But the Hogs offense bailed him out to beat Rochester, 7-5. DH David Newhan went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI and the big shot came from J.J. Furmaniak, who hit a sixth inning grand slam. Catcher Lou Marson went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts, holding his average at .302.

Reading – After a string of relief appearances, Tyson Brummett took the rubber as a starter for the R-Phils last night. His return to the rotation didn’t go very well, though, as he gave up 5 runs in the first inning and only lasted one more frame before being taken out. Reading tried to dig out of the early hole, but lost to Harrisburg, 5-4. First baseman Brian Stavisky provided most of the offense, slugging a two-run homer and an RBI double. Center fielder Quinton Berry went 3-for-5 with a double and his 32nd stolen base of the year. Michael Taylor was held hitless in 3 at-bats, dropping his average to .337.

Lakewood – 19-year-old righty Jason Knapp, who has pitched very well despite a poor record this season, was bombed last night against Kannapolis in a 9-4 loss. Knapp (2-7) couldn’t make it out of the first inning, giving up 3 hits and 3 walks in .2 innings. All 6 runners scored, raising Knapp’s ERA to 4.01. Second baseman Hector Garcia went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and two runs scored. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud had two hits including a double and an RBI and Zach Collier legged out a triple.

Williamsport – The Crosscutters game against Auburn was suspended.

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Around the Minors

Posted by Ben Seal, Sat, July 11, 2009 10:34 AM Comments: 5

Here’s a look at last night’s action in the Phillies minor league system:

Lehigh Valley – The Iron Pigs dropped their game with Scranton/WB, 5-4, but had some more encouraging signs in the loss. Lou Marson went 3-for-4 with a run to bump his average all the way up to .303, an impressive plateau considering he hit just .232 through May. Marson has been on an absolute tear lately, collecting 17 hits in his last 35 AB. The power is still largely absent, as his season’s slugging percentage sits at just .377, but with a good batting eye and an ability to spray singles across the field Marson is beginning to cash in on some of the offensive potential scouts saw in him.

Kyle Kendrick had another productive outing last night, going 6.1 innings and giving up 3 runs on 5 hits and a pair of walks, but did not factor in the decision. He struck out 4 in the game and his ERA is now at 3.51. With another month of consistent success at triple-A he could very well find himself pitching again at CBP before season’s end.

Reading – Another night, another impressive display from R-Phils outfielder Michael Taylor. Last night Taylor, who was recently named Eastern League Player of the Month for June, collected three more hits, including a double and an RBI as well as a walk. He moved his average back up to the .340 mark as Reading beat Harrisburg, 10-2. Yohan Flande had another turn in the rotation but only went two innings before being relieved by Alex Concepcion, who pitched 4 sterling innings to earn the win. Flande allowed one run on 3 hits in his two innings, and there is no word whether he was pulled due to injury.

Clearwater – The Threshers had their game against Brevard County postponed, and considering the doubleheader shutout from the day before that might be good news for Clearwater.

Lakewood – The Blue Claws beat Kannapolis, 7-5, sparked by a two-run home run from catcher Travis d’Arnaud in the third inning. D’Arnaud also walked three times and scored three runs. DH Jim Murphy had two hits and knocked in three runs in the win. Justin De Fratus gave up 4 runs (2 earned) in 5.1 innings to earn the win for the Blue Claws.

Williamsport – Last year’s first-round pick Anthony Hewitt has been showing flashes of the ability that made him an early selection in the draft. Last night was no different, as he went 1-for-4 with an RBI triple and a stolen base, his fifth of the short season. The Crosscutters, however, lost 6-3, with all the runs charged to Jonathan Pettibone in his 3.2 innings of work.

Gulf Coast League – The GCL Phillies beat the Yankees, 5-3. This year’s top pick, Kelly Dugan, was 1-for-4 with an RBI double. SS Jason Donald, on a rehab assignment in the rookie league, went 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

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